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1 Orientation and objectives of the discipline: research directions, leader and talented person echelon

The discipline of agricultural resource and environment includes two secondary disciplines: soil science and plant nutrition science.

The orientation of the discipline of soil science is to strengthen the basic and applied scientific research into forest soil in northeastern China, and to cultivate professionals in forest soil science. The discipline actively participates in major national projects in the field of global change to feed the major strategic needs of the country in terms of the theory and technology of carbon sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems and to provide scientific support for national carbon diplomacy. At the same time, the discipline actively carries out scientific research in other areas of forest soil science in order to enhance the level of forest soil research.

The discipline of soil science has formed four distinctive research directions: 1) forest soil classification and forest soil resources, including occurrence and systematic classification and forest soil investigation technology 2) Soil carbon and nitrogen processes and global climate change in temperate and temperate forests, including forest soil carbon storage, carbon flux and carbon sequestration, soil carbon sequestration function and potential, forest soil organic carbon stability and soil carbon sequestration (3) the mechanisms and control of forest land degradation; (4) forestry use and improvement of sandstorm, salinization, and mine wasteland.

The orientation of the discipline of plant nutrition is to strengthen the applied basic scientific research and technology development of plant nutrition. It focuses on the improvement of the level of academic research and the capability to undertake major projects. The discipline, aiming at the stress resistance of plants (trees and crops), efficient sustainable development strategy for new cultivation, new varieties of resource-saving plants, chemical control technologies and other major needs around the whole plant, cell-level response and adaptation to drought, high salt, nutrient deficit and other stress mechanisms of stress transmission, efficient use of plant water and nutrients and product yield and quality of the formation of important traits such as physiological and molecular genetic mechanisms, and plant growth and development of chemical control, discloses the mechanism of plant-soil-microbe interaction and the physiology and molecular mechanisms of plant nutrient uptake and utilization. Through the study of rhizosphere regulation and control, the development of new fertilizers, modern fertilization techniques and other means to improve plant productivity and nutrient use efficiency, the discipline tries to protect the environment, achieve the development on natural ecosystem and sustainable agriculture.

The discipline of plant nutrition includes two research institutes: plant nutrition and plant physiology. The discipline has three research directions 1) plant nutritional physiology and molecular biology 2) nutrient resource management 3) new fertilizer, garden, medicinal and flower plant nutrition.

Cui Xiaoyang, male, PhD, professor, doctoral adviser, is the leader of the discipline. His main research areas are the C, N process in forest soil and global change. He has been sponsored by “the project of important basic research”, “the national supporting program of science and technology”, “the national basic work special of science and technology”, and “the national forestry public welfare industry research special task” etc. He has presided over 6 projects from the National Scholarship of Natural Science. He is a backbone member of the Changjiang Scholars innovative team of the ministry of education of Northeast Forestry University. He is an evaluation expert of “the ministry of National Science and Technology Award” and “the National Natural Science Foundation of the Department of Earth Sciences and Life Sciences Department project”. He is a vice committee member of the Chinese Forestry Society and Chinese Soil Society-Forest Soil,  Committee member of the Soil Environment Science of China Soil Science Society, vice chairman of Society of Soil and Fertilizer of Heilongjiang Province, and academic advisor of forest soil science of the State Forestry Administration.

At present, the discipline of soil science and discipline of plant nutrition have 5 professors, 5 associate professors, 3 lecturers, 10 tutors of master students. 50% of the faculty have study and research experience overseas and all have doctoral degrees.

2 The advantages and characteristics of the discipline, objectives and quantity of personnel training, the level of scientific research and achievements, etc.

Over the past three years, the discipline of soil science has undertaken many research projects at various levels, such as the National Science and Technology Support Program, the National Science and Technology Fundamental Work Program, the National Forestry Public Welfare Scientific Research Project, and the National Natural Science Fund Project. More than 50 research papers at national and international academic journals were published. As of 2016, the discipline of soil science has enrolled 106 graduate students over the course of 29 years, with 76 of them having graduated and now performing greatly in their jobs.

In recent years, the discipline of plant nutrition presided over 6 projects of the National Natural Science Foundation, 5 major projects of the country, and more than 20 other Ministry, provincial, and municipal level projects. The discipline has earned more than 20 various awards from the state, provincial and municipal levels and cultivated more than 60 graduate students for doctoral and masters degrees.

By 2021, it is expected that 20 graduate students with master’s or doctoral degrees will graduate each year in the discipline of soil science and plant nutrition, and 4 papers cited by ESI will be published and 2 provincial scientific and technological awards will be achieved.

3. The impact of the discipline and the participation in social services

The discipline of soil science is created under the leadership of Professor Lin Boqun -the older generation of forest soil scientist in the forest soil science. In 1986, the discipline was certificated the right to grant master’s degrees – one of the earliest disciplines to cultivate graduate students in forest soil science. In 2005, Northeast Forestry University applied for "the master station of agricultural resources utilization" and was approved, then began to recruit graduate students in plant nutrition.  The disciplines of Soil science and plant nutrition focus on the training of graduate students, and both domestic and international academic exchanges . A number of teachers play important roles in national or provincial academic organizations and have a certain influence in the domestic and international forest soil field.

The discipline of soil science has achieved remarkable results in service to economic, social, and ecological construction, at the advantages of the development of forest soil and plant nutrition. Prof. Cui Xiaoyang, the leader of the discipline, took part in the investigation of soil pollution and soil environmental quality in Heilongjiang Province under the guidance of "National Survey of Soil Contamination". He also built the system for the nutrient diagnosis and formula fertilization for the red pine under the achievements from the project of the National Forestry Public Welfare Industry Research, guiding the scientific forest fertilization and soil fertility maintenance in the three provinces of Heilongjiang, Liaoning, and Jilin in plantations and natural red pine. He put forward "the system of managing soil carbon sink in northeast forest", and build a forest carbon sink management demonstration area, relying on the national "twelfth five-year" science and technology support program

Professor Sun Guangyu in the discipline of plant nutrition focuses on the biochemical and physiological process of carbon fixation of the photosynthetic biology, as well as the interaction relationship between plant - soil microbial and plant - plant in forest ecosystems.  At present, the discipline has been cooperating with the ARC Research Center in Australia, the International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) and other international institutions.

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